25 November 2018

Waiting for a Shift of Predominant Winds

by Andrew

Had to open the blinds & turn-off the light, the sunrise is burning the sky. An activity in which I don't much indulge anymore, watching the Sun rise from bed. The Sun has moved farther South along the meridian, & it doesn't glare right through into the window like it used to. Only its soft tendrils I catch every now & again. The blinds have been closed too, the window is barely cracked anymore because of the cold. I feel closed-in, but very comfortably so.

I heard the New Orleans blowing down by the station as it arrived, & then 5 minutes later as it departed, about 6:00 it was, right on time. Its 2 convicts—freshly released—jump off the train each morning & begin their day. Task number one is to get some clothes. There's a spot underneath some metal stairs across the street from the station, some abandoned building. An old ambulance delivers food there every evening at about 18:00 as well. A city is only worth how it treats its poor.

Dad's school buddy died, he was telling me. Or actually, think he was younger by a handful of years or so, I read the obituary. We saw him over the Summer, Dad & I, we were waiting for dad's girlfriend to finish at some jewelry party or something, & stopt for a few drinks & a bite to eat. My sister used to cut his hair. Saw him a couple days after she died, even, we were out at the Mexican joint, a quick, easy meal, no one had the strength to cook. He came right up to dad crying & offered his condolences. And dad said he'd seen him just 2 days before too, he fell down his stairs at home, died. It can happen so quickly, so un-expectedly.

The guy was friends with my old boss at the junior college, there, always saw them out together. Who took the position when his uncle retired, which uncle was the boss for probably about 5/6ths of the time I was there. You can feel the passage of time, the generational shift. His uncle was a master mechanic in disguise, hidden behind the title of his position. The nephew, the friend of dad's dead friend, he just has the title. We become more & more specialized, & seek the shell over the pearl.

All day since, I been day-dreaming of when I drove the truck. My feet are kind of itchy after my little journey home. And then my uncle was home too, who also used to drive. I'm ripe for a longer trip, a new adventure. It's a shame we must make money to survive, what we have to sacrifice in order to do so. Eventhough that nomadic lifestlye is not so romantic as it sounds, a picture of a picture of a picture, all the towns in the States roll-by the same, the same few handfuls of stores, that's all it is. And then it's hell on relationships, which is like air to us we need, connection. Though driving a truck isn't just driving a truck. You must keep that thing running, you're out there on your own.

I learned from the golf course. To always escape that manual-labor as long as possible, I'd sit round with the mechanic, a mean son-of-a-bitch who frightened everyone else by his appearance alone. His face had the markings of hard use, like it's been bashed in a few times or so. I always surprised him with my diagnosis, the classical medicine I was attempting to study then. He'd smoke crack in the bathroom, & then I'd D.J. through the radio stations. But I'd just sit & help where I could & observe & chat, on the cold days of early Spring especially, when it was warm in the garage. Our boss—the Superintendent—was a master mechanic in disguise, himself, a young-buck though, not by too much my senior, from way up in Minnesota, a cut out of the old-school, he had teeth like a sabertooth. I was by far his best worker, but the interest I showed in mechanics myself must have struck something in him, & he usually allowed me to stay inside as I pleased. He'd send his assistant Superintendent out to do my work instead, it was kind of flattering, I was only being paid minimum wage without the credentials, & he was salaried, making probably at least about 50k.

But that's enough for now. I'm only rambling. The rain is smacking the concrete, I can hear it, & then the window, a surprisingly warm breeze is blowing in. The temperature is supposed to drop through the night, & strong winds are forecasted. The Pleiades were indeed setting at Sun rise the 21st of November, I saw them up there low on the Western horizon before I hopped the train North. But I haven't noticed a shift of pre-dominant winds yet, from the NW & SE of Autumn to the NE & SW of Winter.

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